A small business needs employees who not only perform their own jobs effectively but who have the ability to work in coordination with colleagues on team initiatives. There's no room on a small staff for individuals unwilling or unable to do their fair share of the workload. Nonparticipatory workers should be confronted about performance problems as soon as they arise to ensure productivity doesn’t get seriously off track.

Establish a Policy

You have to have a comprehensive policy in place before you can enforce disciplinary measures for nonperformance problems. Write general guidelines that explain expected workplace behaviors, performance levels, goal meeting and the disciplinary action to be taken for nonproduction. Be specific when you describe disciplinary actions. For example, counseling for the first infraction, reprimand for the second, probation for the third, suspension for the fourth and termination for the fifth.

Outline Expectations

Include written performance expectations in individual job descriptions so employees fully understand the responsibilities of their jobs. Provide employees with solid direction about work projects and initiatives. Set individual and department goals and develop project plans for team projects. Outline what each person is responsible for contributing and the timeline in which work should be completed. Make sure workload is appropriately distributed so you're using the talents and strengths of each of your staffers while not overburdening or underburdening employees.

Request Progress Reports

If you get complaints about inequitable performance or slacker employees, ask those individuals for daily, weekly or monthly progress reports to encourage them to be accountable for their performance levels. If an employee falls behind, counsel that person in accordance with your workplace policy and try to determine the reason for the low-level contributions. According to the terms of your workplace expectations, set new goals with the employee, issue a formal warning and document the incident for his personnel file.

Repeated Infractions

If you counsel an employee and continue to have performance problems, take the next step in your workplace discipline policy, which should include a formal reprimand or a probationary status while productivity is monitored. Give the employee a certain amount of time to improve performance levels or face the next level of disciplinary action, typically a suspension. Ongoing infractions should lead to a lengthier suspension, demotion or termination.